Juventus have been handed a partial stadium ban – suspended for one year – after fans were heard singing insulting chants about Napoli, their Serie A rivals, on Sunday afternoon.
The reigning Italian champions were at home to Genoa for a league game they won 2-0 but, after a section of supporters was observed singing “discriminatory chants” about the fans and people of Naples, the Lega Serie A has threatened to close the Juventus Stadium’s south stand for two games.
The sanction has, however, been suspended for a year with the caveat that it will be imposed with a further penalty should Juventus supporters reoffend.
A statement published on www.legaseriea.it read: “Juventus fans located in the first and second tiers of the south stand sang the following chant at 1440 CET – ‘Wash them with fire, Vesuvius wash them with fire.’
“Between the ninth and 10th minutes and between the 64th and 65th minutes the same fans sang ‘What a smell, even the dogs run away when the Neapolitans arrive. Oh, victims of cholera and earthquakes, you never wash yourselves.’”
Mount Vesuvius, which erupted in AD79 and destroyed Pompeii, is an active volcano which lies six miles east of Naples. Two separate cholera epidemics killed thousands of people in the southern city around the turn of the 19th century.
The same threat of stadium closure has already been issued to Italian clubs AC Milan, Inter Milan, Roma and Torino this season as the Lega and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) seek to crack down on “regional” discrimination, as well as the racist abuse that continues to plague football on the peninsula.